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Join GGTA at Socials & Neighborhood Meetings

Come and meet your neighbors! GGTA organizes a monthly no-host social usually on the First Tuesday at a local watering hole conveniently located to the complex. We also sometimes go nuts and have a second social during the month, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements.

Also, GGTA stays vigilant about neighborhood issues and developments, and we’ll post information here about public meetings. If you want to know more about what’s being built, what’s changing regarding our streets or transit, and other decisions affecting our community, please watch this page.

Check back for details on upcoming events!

Gateway May Get New Elevator Vendor

elevators
We got some good news from Gateway management this week: They’re re-evaluating the contract with the elevator vendor and hope to get a new vendor that will be more reliable.
 
As you all know, since the elevator controls were updated a few years ago, we’ve been plagued with intermittent yet ongoing outages. The plaza elevator was out of service for about three months this year, too, creating hardships for the mobility impaired and people using strollers.
 
Geri Koeppel, president of GGTA, sent an inquiry to Clarisse Tan, director of property management, asking if a new vendor was in the works, and got this reply:

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GGTA, Many Others Oppose Alcohol Sales until 4 a.m.

img_0022The Golden Gateway Tenants Association is strongly opposed to a bill, SB 384, that would allow California cities to permit alcohol sales until 4 a.m.

Sen. Scott Wiener introduced this legislation, and it passed handily—27 to 9 with four not voting—in the Senate on May 31. GGTA and many other neighborhood and grass-roots groups are opposed to this bill, while several business and industry groups support it. Mayor Ed Lee is on record supporting it, so if it passes the Assembly and is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, we’re sure that San Francisco will eagerly embrace the opportunity to keep bars and  nightclubs open later.

Why is this a problem?

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Give Us Ideas for Improving Gloomy Washington Street

washingtonst_garageGateway residents: Our stretch of Washington Street needs your ideas to improve its gloomy appearance.

Walking down Washington Street on the two blocks between Battery and Davis is a bleak visual experience because of high blank walls on both sides for parking garages at One Maritime Plaza and the Gateway.

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The next two blocks of Washington between Davis and the Embarcadero are just as bad on the north side, including the black fence for the Bay Club tennis court. Why does the street look like this?

washingtonst_bayclub

Probably because Washington was an off-ramp for the Embarcadero Freeway when One Maritime Plaza and the Gateway were built in the 1960s. Now the freeway is gone, and times have changed. This street needs to look better. What can be done?

GGTA is looking for creative ideas to improve these four blocks.  One possibility is to ask the Bay Club to decorate the tennis club fence along Washington Street the same way it has already decorated the west side of the fence facing the Golden Gateway Commons condos.

The Bay Club fence facing the Golden Gateway Commons has been decorated.
The Bay Club fence facing the Golden Gateway Commons has been decorated.

Please let us have your opinions. Our GGTA board will talk over the ideas to come up with specific proposals to discuss with the well established civic organization San Francisco Beautiful. We will then open discussions with Gateway management, One Maritime Plaza, and the Bay Club, who would need to agree to suggested improvements.

Let’s hear from you! Please use our online contact form, which goes to our president and other board members, or come and talk to us at one of our First Tuesday socials, which are announced in our member emails and on Nextdoor.com.

Please Help Us Keep Laundry Rooms Safe & Working

Using the wrong soap can flood the laundry room floor and cause a safety hazard. Photo: GGTA
Using the wrong soap can flood the laundry room floor and cause a safety hazard. Photo: GGTA

While the laundry rooms at the Gateway are a convenience that tenants appreciate, we all know they can be a source of frustration. Machines break, and worse: the drain lines back up and flood the floor, causing a safety hazard.

We recently contacted Gateway management and a manager with WASH Laundry to inform them of the frequent broken machines and flooded floors. A slip-and-fall can result in serious injury, particularly for our older residents.

We were pleased to find out that WASH Laundry and the Gateway are working on finalizing a contract to upgrade the machines. We were told this could possibly include reworking/redesigning the drains, which could alleviate some of the drain backups.

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Take an Early Peek at Planned Affordable Apartments on Broadway

broadway_front-street

Neighbors recently got more preliminary details about an affordable housing rental complex for low- and moderate-income residents and seniors planned for our neighborhood.

A slide presentation at a public meeting of the Northeast Waterfront Advisory Group (NEWAG) at the Port of San Francisco on April 6 showed early designs for the buildings, which will take up most of the block between Vallejo, Broadway, Front and Davis. The slides showing renderings are below.

The number and type of units as well as the various levels of affordability have changed over time, and could be altered again. A representative for BRIDGE Housing told us the Mayor’s Office of Housing asked for more three-bedroom family units, which has slightly decreased the total number of units in the family building.

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Brace Yourself for Noise & Congestion During Sewer Work

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Starting this fall, Gateway residents, their neighbors and anyone who drives on the Embarcadero will be inconvenienced by 16 months of on-and-off construction and lane closures due to much-needed sewer improvements on the North Shore Force Main. Loud noise is expected throughout the project as well.

We reported in January that these repairs shouldn’t be as disruptive as the work we endured in 2014-15, but it turns out that’s not quite true. (Click here for the earlier article.) At the April 6 meeting of the Northeast Waterfront Advisory Group (NEWAG), a volunteer citizen advisory group to the Port of San Francisco, representatives from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) outlined the upcoming plan, which held a few surprises.

Keep in mind that the North Shore Force Main serves 350,000 residents throughout the city, and this project is absolutely mandatory to keep our sewers working properly. Also, we are grateful to SFPUC for overseeing a project of this scope and for being communicative and responsive. But we want to warn residents, area workers and visitors that they’ll be in for some unpleasant months ahead.

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Sunday Streets in Bayview/Dogpatch April 9

Sunday Streets is coming to Bayview and Dogpatch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday, April 9, and it’s a short jaunt via bicycle or from the Embarcadero station on the Muni down Third Street to access it.

Three miles of the Third Street corridor will be shut to vehicles so you can enjoy the neighborhood and its businesses at a leisurely pace on foot. If you haven’t been to Dogpatch, it has numerous charming shops and cafes.

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Volunteer and/or Participate in Annual Egg Hunt April 8

All neighborhood children are warmly invited to participate in the annual neighborhood Egg Hunt at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 8 in Sydney G. Walton Square. 

Meet at the fountain shortly before 10:30 a.m. This is an opportunity to meet and socialize with neighbors and to build community spirit. The Egg Hunt is sponsored by the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association. 

Please reply to Julia Bergman with the names and ages of your children if you would like to attend. Remember to bring your Easter baskets with you.

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Pier 29 “Makers’ Market” Clears Hurdle

Pier 29. Photo: Wikipedia Commons.
Pier 29. Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently gave the green light to a proposal for a retail market of locally made goods at Pier 29. This allows the developer to pursue a final deal with the Port Commission.

Jamestown has proposed filling only the 22,000-square-foot bulkhead, or front space, with retail items by nonprofit SFMade and an “urban brewery and/or winery and/or coffee roastery.”  The exterior of the building won’t be altered, as was indicated in very preliminary plans. The goal as they’ve outlined it is to offer a marketplace for cruise passengers and an amenity for residents. Jamestown also operates Ghirardelli Square, Chelsea Market in New York City and Ponce City Market in Atlanta.

The plan has gotten pushback from some community groups, including the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, which has characterized it as a “mini-mall” and not a wise use of waterfront space. It’s advocated for more recreation on Port parcels, including Pier 29, and has voiced concerns that if Jamestown is given the 15-year lease, it’ll try to co-opt more space in the larger shed building.

However, the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee in support of the market, which will occupy about 20 percent of the space in the Pier 29 building. The letter stipulates that the group supports recreational use for the rest of the pier, but also notes that the plan “would also provide our neighborhood with another attractive option in place of an empty building.”

The Golden Gateway Tenants Association hasn’t taken a position on this issue, but wanted to share what’s happening with our members.

Please read more background about the plan in these articles:

Pier 29 Will Likely Become Home To New Local Maker Showcase (Hoodline, April 26, 2016)

City Hall gives thumbs up to Pier 29 retail (Curbed San Francisco, March 17, 2017)

Community Reps Weigh in on D3 Streets Concerns

Looking north on the Embarcadero. (Photo: Geri Koeppel)
Looking north on the Embarcadero. (Photo: Geri Koeppel)

Supervisor Aaron Peskin has assembled a D3 Street Outreach Team of community representatives to work with MTA in identifying major areas of concern regarding streets and transit.

GGTA President Bill Hannan attended the first meeting on Jan. 12, 2017, and GGTA board member Geri Koeppel attended the second meeting on Feb. 23, 2017. Other attendees included representatives from community benefit districts and neighborhood associations as well as MTA staff.

At the first meeting, attendees participated in a “card-storming” exercise to identify concerns in categories such as transit, parking, coordination and outreach, pedestrian safety, economic impacts and project-specific interests. Bill reported that each person was able to recommend only two main areas of concern, so he brought up restoration of the full 10-Townsend Muni line and pedestrian safety on the Embarcadero. (Note: Since that meeting, MTA announced the elimination of the 10-Townsend bus stop at Folsom and Second streets.)

In the second meeting, participants worked in three teams, with each homing in on two of the categories and discussing them in further detail. Geri was included in a group that talked about safety and street conditions. Each group then reported their discussion, and an MTA employee wrote them all on easel paper.

Following that, every person was able to vote for three issues they believed were the most important. The votes were ranked by first, second and third priority according to blue, red and yellow stickers placed on the easel paper.

The items with the most votes were suggestions to build the Central Subway and to improve traffic signals and timing, with four votes each. After that, three stars were give for three topics: bulb-outs to calm traffic and shorten the distance from curb to curb for pedestrians, more MTA outreach to the public before approving projects, and more enforcement for private shuttle buses, tour buses and TNCs, commonly known as ride sharing companies.

Four items also received two stars, and several received one star. But as one attendee pointed out, a theme emerged:

  • Participants in general wanted to see better regulation and enforcement in several areas ranging from private shuttles and ride sharing to jaywalking and residential parking permits, and
  • Participants were frustrated by the lack of outreach from MTA about projects.

In closing, Peskin’s aide Lee Hepner thanked everyone for their participation and said if anyone has specific concerns they’d like to raise outside of the meeting, he’s available via email. GGTA is going to follow up on this with concerns about the 10-Townsend line and near-term solutions to congestion and safety on the Embarcadero. Also, Deanna Desedas of the MTA thanked everyone and said these meetings will help shape outreach and engagement in other districts. We were told another meeting will be scheduled for about six weeks from this one.